New Primary School Planning Application – Crawley, West Sussex

We have recently submitted a detailed planning application in Broadfield, Crawley, for a new primary school and nursery with a capacity for 180 pupils aged 2-11. The applicant is seeking to establish a primary education facility (an independent faith school), including nursery/early years provision with an ancillary Community Café plus a book store with an educational shop.

We were appointed to manage the submission of the application and provide Planning Consultancy services, liaising closely with our project partners, Blackstone Architects and DTPC Transport Consultants, in the preparation of the scheme. This approach was used to ensure that we had the right specialisms and expertise resulting in the submission of a favourable development proposal.

The development will result in the regeneration of a prominent site, in addition to addressing the aspirations of the local resident community by providing an additional quality primary education facility. This will be a high-quality development featuring undercroft parking with a public square incorporating a water feature. The design has taken into consideration the context of the site, as well as ensuring that there would be no unacceptable impacts on local amenities or on the highway network.

We are looking forward to working closely with Crawley Council and managing the application throughout the entire planning process and beyond!

Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd is an established Chartered Town Planning Consultancy providing wide-ranging assistance for planning applications and appeals.

For any planning advice and support please contact us by calling 0161 428 0445 or by email

Seasons Greetings

We would like to wish all our past, present and future clients a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018.

Please not that our office will be closed from Thursday 21st December through to Wednesday 3rd January 2018.

Another Planning Success – Chelmsford, Essex

Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd has secured planning permission for an attractive development of 9 apartments in Chelmsford, Essex, which involves the demolition of a large dwelling house, being replaced by a 3 storey new build scheme.

Through a close working relationship with the Council, we provided project management and planning consultancy services, which were instrumental in guiding this scheme through to a positive outcome. This compromised a number of pre-application discussions, careful research to formulate a planning argument, and responsiveness to consultee feedback during the planning process.

The application received support from members of the local community with one person commenting that: “these flats will give the opportunity to people like me to get on the housing ladder”, demonstrating that the demand for housing, when combined with a well thought out development can get the backing from wide-ranging stakeholders.

Our Planning Consultant, Thomas Konarski, commented on the success adding, “underused sites in the urban areas can be turned into opportunities with the right vision and team“.

For residential development advice and support please contact us by calling 0161 428 0445 or by email

2017 Budget – a raft of potential planning changes


After much hype and predictions on what the Chancellor would do to kick start the next housing phase, it turned out to be yet another budget with the inevitable announcements on planning.

As expected, there was more of the usual, such as extending permitted development rights, but, the announcement on the demolition of commercial buildings and replacement with housing was an unusual departure from the current Permitted Development rights. Inevitably, there will have to be additional safeguards in place and also some form of a prior approval process for this to be successful. But will this proposal like many others before it become dumbed down?

Those of us who were looking for more radical reforms will have to be patient. There were some new ideas, such as a new form of ‘exception’ site (housing being built for first time buyers), but we’ll have to wait to see further details before we pass judgement on that one!

The de-allocation of sites from local plans looks interesting: at present, changes in land designation are at the behest of Local Authorities and their timetable for updating and producing new plans. If enacted, this change could result in greater flexibility where sites are not always materialising for their intended use.

We see some good ideas in the budget but are the proposals likely to deliver the 300,000 new homes a year the government has set out? Don’t forget we are still awaiting the construction of the 200,000 starter homes promised in the 2014 budget!

Will the Chancellor’s proposals and ideas help build the houses we desperately need or should he have gone much further with more radical reforms and legislation?

The only thing we can safely prediction is that there will be many more consultations in the coming weeks and months.

A Heritage Led Development

For over a year, Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd, has been working closely with our clients and a Northern Council, on a housing redevelopment in the centre of a former industrial town.

This heritage led development will feature a stunning listed building as the centre piece of the redevelopment. However, it is not a straight forward project due to a number of surrounding older buildings that need major work and are well past their best!

The Council is seeking to protect these other non-listed structures by not allowing their removal which is creating a ‘catch-22’ situation; no removal = lack of investment + further decline! (not to mention the even greater restoration work that will be required in the future).

We are currently looking at solutions with the Council to progress this project, please watch this space for further news…

Another Enforcement Notice Overturned on Appeal

Farooq and the team have achieved a rare feat in the world of planning – we have helped secure the withdrawal of a Council’s  Enforcement Notice.

This case has proved to be a very painful lesson for the local authority. Rather than listening to objections by vociferous neighbours, it is important that Councils make fair and subjective decisions on planning applications.

Had the Council recognised their mistake and investigated the application in a sensible manner, they would have saved not just themselves, but the property owner and the Planning Inspectorate, a lot of time and money. It could now become even more painful, as future proposals indicate the Council may have to reimburse the Planning Inspectorate’s costs as well.

We’re hoping that this example might just install more discipline to all those involved in the planning process.

If you find yourself in a similar situation and would like some advice on how to submit a planning appeal, then please contact us today.

Plans approved for new entertainment facility in Leeds



Inspire Planning Solutions expertise has helped secure permission for a Leeds Entertainment Centre.

We were approached by the Project Architect during the course of the planning application after the Council requested a Sequential Test Assessment to be undertaken for the 16,000 square feet former furniture showroom.  As the intended use – like other leisure facilities such as gyms are identified as a ‘main town centre uses’ by the National Planning Policy Framework, the out of centre location of the site needed to be justified.

Given our experience on leisure developments, we undertook an extensive search of properties and were able to demonstrate that none were available, suitable or viable. The Council agreed that there were no sequentially preferable sites, paving the way for the application to be approved!

Now all that remains is for use to try out the new adventure facilities, which include different fictional sets with various challenges. Let’s hope escaping from locked rooms is as easy for us as gaining planning permission!

Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd works across the Country in providing technical reports to address planning policy requirements. If you are looking to develop a site or have been requested to provide the Council with further information, please get in touch. The timely provision of information can  avoid delay and expense and avoid the need for an appeal.

A new lease of life for Lancashire Mill building!



Inspire Planning Solutions Ltd have successfully obtained planning permission for a new Crossfit style gym in Haslingden, Lancashire! We were approached by our Client due to our experience in leisure and entertainment facilities. He was seeking to provide a specialist fitness class based gym which was not available in the local area and which demanded a certain type of building, namely large floor to ceiling height and an open clear internal space. The daily fitness programmes also required outdoor workouts and therefore the need for safe running routes.

After an extensive search of commercial property lasting many months, a former Victorian Mill Premises located at Ewood Mill was identified. Haslingden, like many former Lancashire cotton towns, has its fair share of old mill buildings and the desire for more modern facilities, which are more suitable to the 21st Century needs of business has meant that a large proportion is vacant. Despite this, Council Planning Policies still seek to ‘protect’ existing employment space and Government policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, are designed to focus uses such as gyms into town centres.

By working proactively with the Local Planning Authority, we were able to effectively deliver our case for this ‘out of centre’ proposal. This included the production of a Sequential Test Assessment, which successfully illustrated the lack of preferable sites within Rossendale, alongside the economic, community and health benefits of the scheme. A Planning Statement was also able to demonstrate the lack of demand of the property for industrial uses, alongside the economic, community and health benefits.

The Council agreed with the case presented, concluding:

“..the proposed use would result in the productive re-use of a vacant unit which is of relatively poor quality in terms of its ability to accommodate modern employment use requirements, and the fact that the proposed use would result in a net employment gain.”

Through close-working with the applicant, we were also able to allay Highway Authority’s concerns in relation to parking and road safety matters. We are very much looking forward to seeing the grand opening in a few months’ time and wish our client every success! To learn more about how Inspire Planning Solutions can assist you to apply for planning, check out our services, speak to Farooq or Thomas or get in touch today.

Planning permission granted for a mixed-use project in Bow, London


Inspire Planning Solutions were commissioned by Cedargate Developments to work as part of a team alongside the Project Architects’ to obtain planning permission for a mixed use development comprising of new homes and retail space on Roman Road, Bow in East London.

The site consisted of a dilapidated property, which had seen many unsympathetic alterations over the years, which detracted from the historic and architectural character of the Conservation Area. By highlighting the positive benefits of redevelopment, we put forward a comprehensive renewal of the frontage, an additional storey to bring the building into line with the remaining area. To deliver a development that was viable, a three story rear extension was also incorporated into the design.


Roman Road 3D Images

In a dense, highly built up area, where the Council were concerned about the effect on neighbours light, privacy and future living conditions, we were able to show through a Daylight and Sunlight Assessment, and high quality 3D images that there would be no such effect. Inspire Planning Solutions co-ordinated the application and negotiated closely with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to obtain planning permission. Result!

Farooq Rafiq, Director at Inspire Planning Solutions commented that:

“persistent, persuasion and a collaborative effort came together in delivering that all important planning permission”

As this project gets off the ground, Cedargate are looking towards their next development. If you are looking to apply for planning, Inspire Planning Solutions can assist in delivering a quicker, optimal permission. Speak to Farooq or Thomas or get in touch today.